Uncertainty Is Bliss…
It’s a title that actually makes quite a lot of sense for a band that loves to jam together. The thrill of just starting wherever and let the flow take you where it wants to be taken grants a level of freedom not given to the perfectionista songwriters of this world. There are however songs on Black Salvation’s Uncertainty Is Bliss, quite good ones in fact, but you can hear the freedom of jamming throughout the whole record.
It’s like Black Salvation decided at one point to reign in their herd of wild animals and tame them into catchier songs. There is still plenty of freedom within Black Salvation as they let their songs meander from deeply psychedelic rock, through dark creepy new wave, and post punk vibes. It’s an ambitious hodgepodge, and this ambition was recognized by the US avantgarde metal label Relapse Records, who decided to haul these Leipzig Germans into their stall among bands as diverse as YOB, Pig Destroyer, and True Widow.
We thought it would be a good idea to have a little chat with Black Salvation, and co-founder Birger Schwidop (bass) kindly agreed to do so.
Hi guys, how are you doing these days? What have you been up to lately?
Hi Jasper! We just got through the release tour for our new album and now are recovering from that. It’s always a bad feeling to get back to day to day business when you’re hungry for more live gigs. Besides that we’re already in the organization process to make that happen.
Congratulations with your debut album! How have the reactions been so far?
Thanks! We had a lot of very good reactions to date. A lot of people seem to like the album. (btw it’s not exactly our debut, because we self-released a full length some years ago). It’s very interesting to read what people get from those songs and which connections they make. There have been quite a lot different band names in the reviews to compare us with. Some we could retrace and others we hadn’t heard a single note of. Some of the more Metal related reviewers seem not to really get into the music and dislike, but we’re not exactly here to please everyone.
Perhaps the most striking thing about the release of Uncertainty Is Bliss is your signing to Relapse! Can you tell me how that came about?
The credit for this goes mainly to our friend and manager Pellet. When he heard the album he instantly sent it around to his contacts. At Relapse everybody was really into it and that was the reason for us to partner up with them.
Does signing to Relapse mean you’re going to play USA as well, or is that still far away?
There are plans for that for sure! But since it’s a big bureaucratic pain in the ass and also a huge financial issue to come from abroad to the USA to play some music to the people, it will take at least until next year to make this happen.
Can you tell me how you recruited former In Solitude and current Death Alley drummer Uno Bruniusson?
We first met when we (at this time still with our former drummer) opened for In Solitude at a show in our hometown Leipzig. We talked that night and he already found that shimmering spark in our music. When our drummer left us, Paul and I kept on and wrote songs with just the two of us, where no one is really drummer. We were in desperate search to find a new member that would fit musically and equally important personally. When we met Uno in Berlin again and talked about the situation he instantly offered to help. So we made it happen and grew together more and more since then.
How will he combine Death Alley and Black Salvation? Will that be a problem for BS in the future?
Yeah, he is a busy guy. Besides those both, he also plays in Maggot Heart and Procession (all great bands, dammit). So it’s mainly up to his scheduling to make it work.
There is a very intriguing mixture of styles going on on Uncertainty Is Bliss, I hear psychedelic rock but also influences from bands like Wovenhand, Gallon Drunk, and Killing Joke…am I close…? Can you explain the various influences for the Black Salvation sound?
Here we have a great example of what I said before. We’re all listening to a wide range of music, so it’s very hard to pinpoint some influences. We all spent our youth with a lot of metal, were craving for more and different stuff from that point on and thus discovering so much back and forth in history and contemporary music. After digesting all that it seems Uncertainty Is Bliss is what we excreted.
Can you describe an average playlist for Black Salvation from your touring van? What kinds of records are you listening to at the moment?
At our recent tour it was an interesting situation, because our car stereo sounded like shit and we also only could listen to CDs with it. We got a few with us and so we mainly listened to The Doors, The Black Angels, and Django Reinhardt.
What was the weirdest way someone described your music?
I quote the review from metalutopia.com here:
“droning enough to please the ears of that hipster guy you know down the street yet funky and nonsensical enough to remind your grandmother of the week she spent in the desert eating acid and licking orange peels”
Weird in the most positive way I can imagine.
You are from Leipzig, right? Can you describe the “scene” there? And perhaps shout out to some cool bands from your area?
Leipzig has a very broad music “scene” if you want to call it like that. Something is happening nearly every day and there are a lot of open minded people organizing and attending shows and other events all the time. We find ourselves as a part of the “Into Endless Chaos” circle, which is a loose connection of musicians and artists. Most of us know each other for quite a while. So that’s where we can shout out a lot of (mostly metal) bands:
Antlers, Evil Warriors, Vidargängr, CNTMPT, I I, Bloody Vengeance, Veiled (all kinds of Black Metal), Division Speed (Speed/Thrash), Goat Explosion (Heavy/Doom). Not from Leipzig, but also to watch out for, because they are releasing a new album soon: Abyssous (Death Metal). Psychedelic-wise you may check out Kamala from Leipzig.
What are your immediate plans for the future? Where can we see you play?
Definitely we want to tour more. The vague plan by now is to play Germany some more and come to Scandinavia to get around there a bit. But we’re open for more let’s go around the compass! We play at Void Fest in August and hope to get some more festival shows if possible.
Where will we see Black Salvation in four/five years?
Touring with at least two more albums in alternate realities.
Dutchman, cheese fanatic, underground music enthusiast, teacher of English, father of two, singer in a band, ex- Lord Of Metal.
“Life is only a dream and we are the imagination of ourselves”.